Fraternal Order of Police Chicago president Dean Angelo Sunday night told the I-Team that he will be in Washington this week for high-level meetings with Justice Department officials and for a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Angelo and Trump have something in common: they both frequently talk about Chicago's staggering crime problem, especially the spike in murders last year and what seems to be a increasingly bloody crime blotter.
Angelo said that his trip to Washington this week grew out of the annual FOP "Day on the Hill" that is sponsored by the union each winter. The 2017 consortium with Members of Congress occurred February 13-15. "I was invited to continue in a way that gets our message out" he said.
Angelo, who is currently in a hotly contested battle to retain his position as Chicago local
FOP president, said that following the Capitol Hill meetings in February "several people said they wanted to talk to me about Chicago."
Apparently, that includes President Trump, with a meeting that may come as early as
"I'm going there with an open ears and open eyes" Angelo said Sunday evening. He plans to speak on behalf of Chicago police who he says have been "demonized by a lot of locals."
It isn't the FOP leader's first fact-sharing trip to D.C. He said that prior to the Justice
Department's ballyhooed investigation of the Chicago Police Department announced in
December, 2015, he met with top Justice officials about the impending probe and to "build national bridges."
His opportunity to give a first-hand account on behalf of the uniformed men and women of the CPD is "a long time coming," Angelo said. "There is enormous concern about Chicago coming from Washington. I look forward to the opportunity to share everything I know."
One of the final acts of the President Barack Obama Justice Department was to unveil a Consent Decree agreement with the Chicago Police, in which the department would have to fulfill an agenda of reforms and changes to address what the DOJ determined to be inherent discrimination of minority citizens.
The agreement, announced in January, was to result in a formal court-ordered plan probably in about a year.
However, the Trump administration is not as eager to mandate such plans. Angelo said that "federal oversight is something a lot of (FOP) members don't want to see."
City officials and top brass at CPD claim they will do everything that a Consent Decree requires even if Attorney General Jeff Sessions declines to proceed with one.
Angelo questions whether the city will indeed spend the money necessary to make those changes, if not required by a court-ordered DOJ agreement.
"With a Consent Decree there is some mandate to spend the money...although with the good comes the bad" Angelo told the I-Team, not stating definitively whether the union officially opposes a decree. "One thing we do want to see if the department rebuild the training academy" he said.
Shortfalls in police recruit training was a major problem singled out by DOJ investigators.
The I-Team reported in February that one training video shown to police recruits was 35 years old and featured Peter "Columbo" Falk who was been dead since 2011. Following our report, police officials said that the video was discontinued.
Chicago police union president to meet with Trump, DOJ officials
ABC7 I-TEAM INVESTIGATION